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8th January 2015, 4:34pm
Lincolnshire network to help more young people access higher education
Student in class More young people across Lincolnshire will benefit from access to higher education following a major funding award to the region’s education providers.

As part of the National Networks for Collaborative Outreach (NNCO), the Lincolnshire network, led by the University of Lincoln, has been awarded more than £400,000 to encourage more young people from local schools and colleges to continue their studies to degree level.

The NCCO is a new £22 million scheme funded by the Government that will reach 4,300 schools and colleges around the country. Local providers of higher education have come together to form 35 regional networks, ensuring comprehensive coverage across England.

The Lincolnshire network, called ‘Magna Carta – Education for Liberty’, will be led by the University of Lincoln and includes Bishop Grosseteste University, Lincoln College, Grimsby Institute, Boston College, North Lindsey College and Grantham College.

This new collaboration will support teachers and advisers, to deliver outreach activities and provide a central source of information about student progression into higher education.

Each of the networks, which are funded by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and managed by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), will also host web-sites with information about outreach events, and signpost other information to support schools and colleges as they prepare their students for the next stage of their education.

Greg Clark, Minister for Universities and Science, said: “Higher education is a transformational experience and the future of the UK economy depends on having highly-trained graduates so it is vital that young people have the right information about progressing into higher education. This programme will ensure that schools and colleges across England can help their students learn about higher education in the classroom, online and through local outreach activity.”

Lesley Bunn, Head of Marketing at the University of Lincoln, said: “We believe anyone with the ability to enter higher education should be able to do so. The University of Lincoln has a strong track record of widening participation, with more than 97 per cent of our students coming from state schools and a third coming from family backgrounds with no tradition of higher education.

“Recent analysis by HEFCE identified a number of higher education “cold spots” in Lincolnshire, but this new network will enable the county’s universities, major FE colleges and schools to work together to raise the aspirations of young people and introduce pupils of all backgrounds to the benefits a higher education can provide. We are delighted ‘Magna Carta – Education for Liberty’ has received this funding to further develop our valuable outreach work in local schools.”

The NCCO funding is provided to each of the national networks for the 2014-15 and 2015-16 academic years. Each network receives £120,000 establishment grant, with additional formula funding for each partner in the network.

The partners will also support three more networks established to offer advice and support to specific groups of students at national level, including older learners wishing to continue or return to study and care leavers.

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